Is The Future of Star Wars: Battlefront DICEY?
Nearly a decade ago, EA and LucasArts blew away XBox and PS2 players with Star Wars: Battlefront. The third-person shooter brought the thrill of the movies in a familiar feel and set some high bars for other multi-player combat games. They followed up with Star Wars: Battlefront 2.
Then, came the tragedy of the ill-fated Star Wars: Battlefront 3 which shutdown production in 2009. The franchise hit a wall. No Battlefront game for the XBox 360 and PS3 generation. At least XBox 360 players could play their XBox version in their new console.
And like salt in an old wound, recently leaked footage showed what an awesome game it could have been with large, open combat areas, detailed graphics and great variety of classic Star Wars locations, characters and vehicles.
(Leaked Battlefront 3 footage)
So, when the teaser for the newly rebooted Battlefront played at E3 this week, rumors and speculation were high. After all these years, a new game would have big shoes to fill.
Rolling the DICE
LucasArts is now Disney owned. Disney said that any future Star Wars games will no longer will be developed in-house. That means future titles will be licensed to other companies.
EA’s Patrick Söderlund says Patrick Bach (executive producer of Battlefield) and Karl-Magnus Troedsson (DICE General Manager) eagerly jumped at the chance to have a crack at the popular franchise.
DICE Stockholm's team practically begged for a chance to make the next generation of Star Wars: Battlefront. “We would kill to make this game.”
Bringing back an acclaimed franchise is a big challenge and DICE could reap a big windfall if they success or possibly reap the whirlwind if they fall short.
Leaving Nothing to Chance?
To show what they're bringing to the table, the teaser trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront was part of a presentation about the new Frostbite graphic engine. The same engine used in DICE's Battlefield series and games like Army of Two.
This same application will drive DICE's other new titles including a Mirror's Edge sequel.
DICE has made numerous statements promising that the new game will not just be Battlefield with stormtroopers.
"This is DICE's interpretation of what Battlefront should be," he said. "That's the best description you can have. There are absolutely things in the previous Battlefront games that you'll recognize and remember, but DICE wants to put its own flavor on it. That's the only way we can do it. Hence it's called Star Wars: Battlefront, without a 3 at the end. We want to say it's something new." - Patrick Soderlund
That statement means that this new game will be effectively a 'reboot' NOT a sequel. But, it also shows that DICE and EA are going to be very dedicated to the future of Star Wars games.
With their pedigree and dedication, plunking down your hard-earned money for the new Battlefront may not be as much a gamble as more of a sure thing. But until then, the gaming world will be on the edge of their seats.